MUBI + IDA present: Jumana Manna's FORAGERS (L.A. premiere with Q&A)
The acclaimed Palestinian artist depicts the dramas around the practice of foraging for wild edible plants with wry humor and a meditative pace.
Jun 14, 2023, 8:00 PM
2220 Arts + Archives, 2220 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90057, USA
MUBI and IDA present:
64m, Palestine, DCP, 2022
L.A. premiere, followed by a prerecorded Q&A with Jumana Manna
Co-presented with MUBI and the International Documentary Association (IDA)
The new film by Palestinian artist Jumana Manna depicts the dramas around the practice of foraging for wild edible plants in Palestine/Israel with wry humor and a meditative pace. Shot in the Golan Heights, the Galilee and Jerusalem, Manna employs fiction, documentary and archival footage to portray the impact of Israeli nature protection laws on these customs. The restrictions prohibit the collection of the artichoke-like ’akkoub and za’atar (thyme), and have resulted in fines and trials for hundreds caught collecting these native plants. For Palestinians, these laws constitute an ecological veil for legislation that further alienates them from their land, while Israeli state representatives insist on their scientific expertise and duty to protect. Following the plants from the wild to the kitchen, from the chases between the foragers and the nature patrol, to courtroom defenses, Foragers captures the joy and knowledge embodied in these traditions alongside their resilience to the prohibitive law. By reframing the terms and constraints of preservation, the film raises questions around the politics of extinction, namely who determines what is made extinct and what gets to live on.
In Hebrew and Arabic with English subtitles. Special thanks to Abby Sun and Camillia Shofani (IDA) and Ignacio Perez Meruane.
“Excellent…Using a judicious mix of documentary material and re-enactments, Manna efficiently lets us in on the whole situation… Beautiful to look at, and exhibits… [an] accomplished balance of exposition and scenery… There’s something strangely reassuring about Manna’s bird’s-eye view of her subjects.” -The New York Times
"[It] depicts, with great tenderness and humour, the absurdity and strife that comes from criminalizing the indigenous practice of foraging." -Frieze
“Focusing on the land in the face of increasing forms of alienation from it, Manna’s films use a range of narrative methods to examine how land-based practices like farming and foraging are embroiled in and struggle against neoliberal and colonial policies and in turn, climate change… Her work visualizes the slow violence of industrial agriculture while asking poignant questions about what kind of future is possible in a precarious present.” -MoMA
This film was co-commissioned by BAMPFA The Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, BAK basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht; and The Toronto Biennale (2022). Supported by Arab Fund for Arts and Culture - AFAC, The Fritt Ord Foundation, Arts Council Norway – Kulturrådet.
Jumana Manna is a visual artist and filmmaker. Through sculpture, filmmaking, and occasional writing, Manna deals with the paradoxes of preservation practices, particularly within the fields of archaeology, agriculture and law. Her practice considers the tension between the modernist traditions of categorisation and conservation and the unruly potential of ruination as an integral part of life and its regeneration. Jumana was raised in Jerusalem and lives in Berlin.